Unpublished Opinions for the Week of May 22, 2017

BUSINESS TORTS

New Jersey Law Journal

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36-3-3298 New Jersey Media Grp., Inc. v. IC Sys. Sol., Inc., Law. Div. (Wilson, J.) (40 pp.) (Feb. 18, 2014) Defendants filed three motions for summary judgment. Plaintiff's complaint alleged that, over an eight-year period, it was the victim of a technology equipment and services scam orchestrated by a former executive, then employed with plaintiff, in collusion with two outside vendors; specifically, that defendant charged unreasonable rates for equipment and services, provided services that were unnecessary, and otherwise scammed plaintiff out of funds for the procurement of IT equipment and services. Plaintiff asserted claims of fraud, conversion, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy, and sought a constructive trust. However, the court viewed plaintiff's allegations as "buyer's remorse," nor was there a viable cause of action for plaintiff to claim that defendants got "too good of a deal." The court further noted that plaintiff had an opportunity to review its contracts and vendor relationships and the decisions of its senior managers, including the former executive at issue, and further had a duty to institute financial and management controls to avoid the problems it now alleged. Accordingly, the court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding that plaintiff failed to demonstrate a case for fraud or any other tort, or that there was any material fact in dispute. Instead, the court noted that plaintiff had merely presented various suppositions and conspiracy theories. The court found that there was no evidence of a knowing and material misrepresentation made by defendants to plaintiff, or any complaint about the services provided by defendants to plaintiff prior to the present lawsuit. The court held that simply because a party failed to live up to its contractual obligations was not a basis for fraud or any other tort claims. Finally, the court held that plaintiff's claims for conversion and fraud based on "inflated" invoices and prices for services were nothing more than a regret that plaintiff paid more than it should have.

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